A friend once gave me a small, decorative plate that says “The only time you should look behind you is to see how far you’ve come.” Milestones, such as anniversaries, are a great opportunity to reflect on work we’ve done and work we still have to do. Last week, Stand for Children team members from each of our 11 affiliates gathered in Portland, OR to celebrate our accomplishments, learn from colleagues, and reflect on the past 20 years as an organization whose mission is to ensure that every student, regardless of their neighborhood, graduates from high school ready for college or the workforce.
This year, we were joined by a half-dozen of Stand for Children’s most accomplished parent leaders. Parent leaders are the heart and soul of our organization; our parent leaders dedicate countless hours to organizing other parents and caregivers to lead initiatives that will improve their student’s education. Each parent leader shared with us their own story of what drives the passion and commitment that they bring to their leadership role.
We know how critical the parent and educator voices are to improving student outcomes. To hear each parent share his or her own story was one of the most powerful parts of the summer gathering. While they live in different states and different neighborhoods and each parent leader has a unique circumstance that brought them to join forces with Stand for Children, they all share a common goal of working together to ensure that all of our children receive the education they deserve.
I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to help support the amazing work of our parent leaders and members, as well as the work of our educator members. It will take all of us working together to improve student achievement but looking at how far we’ve come inspires us to look ahead and lean in to continue the journey. Our kids are counting on us!